The Mets will listen to offers for Bartolo Colon and could even start openly shopping the veteran right-hander, team sources tell Mike Puma of the New York Post. There is no indication a deal would happen soon, however, as the team could wait until after the July 31st deadline since GM Sandy Alderson “has no pressure” to trade Colon. (Puma points out that Alderson waited until late August 2013 to make the Marlon Byrd trade with the Pirates).
Colon turned 41 years old in May and his late-career renaissance is still going strong. The veteran has posted a 3.88 ERA and a 5.27 K/BB over 106 2/3 IP as a Met, with 79 strikeouts and a league-low 1.3 walks per nine innings. Those numbers do carry some heavy ballpark splits, as Colon has a 2.11 ERA in six Citi Field starts and a 5.06 ERA in 10 road starts.
Despite Colon’s age, the two-year, $20MM contract he signed with New York last winter is considered to be “relatively friendly,” an AL executive tells Puma. Colon is owed roughly $4.4MM for the remainder of this season and is owed $11MM for 2015.
Moving Colon would line the Mets up for a full-scale pitching youth movement in 2015. Jon Niese and Dillon Gee would be the most experienced members of a projected rotation that would also include a returning Matt Harvey and the likes of Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, while prospects Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard could also be candidates to win jobs. In this situation you could also expect the Mets to sign at least one veteran arm for depth purposes during the offseason, a la their addition of Daisuke Matsuzaka last winter.
Also from Puma’s piece, he notes that the Mets are “reluctant” to trade Niese, which fits with Alderson’s recent statements about Niese’s availability (or lack thereof). Niese, for his part, tells Puma that he wants to remain with the Mets.